THE COLLEGES / MIKE HISERMAN : CSUN's DeAngelis Sweeps Personnel Matters Aside

In an office roughly twice the size of an average broom closet, there is a cluttered desk that holds three leaning towers of paperwork.

There is the audit pile, the travel pile and the next year's planning pile.

The piles of files, each tilting precariously, belong to Debby DeAngelis, associate athletic director in charge of business affairs at Cal State Northridge. In layman's terms, that makes her head bean counter for the university's athletic teams.

Considering the state of Northridge's program, she compares favorably with the chef at a soup kitchen.

Using a budget with precious few dollars, her task is to make some sense of it.

The job is full time and then some. If only her responsibilities ended there.

DeAngelis' role in the athletic program also requires her to be point person for personnel matters. When a coaching position opens, she authors the job description and sends out advertisements.

Usually, Northridge is seeking to fill three or four assistant positions this time of year.

Unfortunately for DeAngelis, this is nowhere near a typical year.

The Northridge athletic program has 22 vacancies--three for head coaches, three for full-time assistants, five for part-time assistants and 10 for restricted-earning assistants, plus a full-time sports information director.

Each job search must conform with faculty bargaining rules and affirmative action clauses. Separate committees are formed to review the candidates for each open position.

More paperwork. More piles. And not only for DeAngelis.

Trudy Ferris has been cut loose from her regular duties as a secretary in the athletic offices in order to handle the deluge of telephone inquiries and resumes headed Northridge's way.

She answers general questions, starts a file on each applicant, acknowledges receipt of resumes and sends out affirmative action material to the prospective candidates.

The remaining few Northridge coaches still under contract have been notified that they will be expected to participate as members of search committees.

Each committee will submit a list of finalists and recommendations to Athletic Director Bob Hiegert. Each hire must be approved by Ron Kopita, the university vice president who oversees athletics.

More work for one and all.

"But it's good work," Hiegert said this week. "It's work that is going to benefit everybody, all the programs."

Hiegert hopes to hire a women's soccer coach by the end of next month, a football coach by mid-May and a women's basketball coach by the end of May. Openings for assistants will be filled in a second tier of hirings.

"It won't be one massive wave," Hiegert said. "It'll be one wave after another."

He can only hope Northridge is able to ride them out.

The Northridge women's basketball team has won 12 games in four years.

The Matadors' football team is coming off a 3-7 season and has a black eye from two tumultuous years filled with off-the-field controversy.

Both programs must make significant strides in order for Northridge to be considered attractive when existing Division I conferences look for expansion candidates.

Northridge can offer a head football or women's basketball coach more than $70,000 annually, but it will take more than money to attract a winner.

The school's athletic offices reside in a hard-hat area between a collapsed parking structure and construction of a gymnasium addition.

The football stadium, a converted horse racing track, pales in comparison to several local junior college facilities.

Personally, I favor DeAngelis' proposal for hosting prospective coaches.

She advises a quick tour of the school's athletic facilities and a long, leisurely lunch at the posh faculty club.

"Great buffet," she said.


Notes, quotes and anecdotes. . . .

All indications are that Ventura College Coach Phil Mathews is among the leading candidates for the job as men's basketball coach at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Another possibility: A top Big East Conference assistant. John McCutcheon, San Luis Obispo's athletic director, came to Cal Poly from Boston College.

John Price, coach of Northridge's up-and-down men's volleyball team, has taken to referring to his squad as "Team Schizo."

Northridge can have two Final Four participants on its men's basketball schedule next season if it can drop its Nov. 28 game against Fresno State or change it to another date.

UCLA wants the Matadors to visit Pauley Pavilion for a game that day, but Coach Pete Cassidy said Northridge will not break its contract with Fresno. The Matadors already are set to play Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., on Jan. 17.

Northridge's opener is Nov. 25 at Nevada Las Vegas.

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